The $70 billion budget agreement reached by the New York City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg late Sunday evening keeps funding for programs that families rely on and for many outstanding nonprofit groups on basically the same level as last year.
The budget plan is expected to be finalized at Wednesday’s Council meeting, said Councilman David Greenfield, who played an instrumental role in the deal as a member of the Council’s budget negotiating team and as co-chair of the Brooklyn caucus.
“As a result of months of negotiations, we have avoided destructive cuts to many programs and services that are essential to maintaining the quality of life that local residents, families and seniors deserve,” Greenfield said. “The end result is a fiscally responsible budget that prioritizes important areas including child care, after-school programs, senior centers, libraries and neighborhood firehouses.”
During the budget negotiation process, Greenfield was successful in securing $5 million to maintain childcare vouchers for our community, along with more than $2 million in direct funding for nearly 100 outstanding charitable and nonprofit organizations, and over $3 million more in funding for parks.
Greenfield advocated strongly for the restoration of $1.3 million in funding for the autism initiative that benefits many community groups including OHEL, Shema Koleinu and Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. Also, for the first time, council districts in Southern Brooklyn will receive funding to address domestic violence, benefiting groups like Shalom Task Force.
Funding has been restored for the JCC of Bensonhurst senior center. The JCC houses a shtiebel on the outskirts of Boro Park on 63rd Street and 23rd Avenue that would have had to close due to the lack of rent received from the kosher senior center.
The mayor’s proposed budget included drastic cuts to early childhood education and after-school programs and would have eliminated thousands of slots. Greenfield, along with other councilmen, got $143.6 million restored.